A passion for innovation
Our Research and Development team is constantly working on new projects to improve each system using the latest thinking and hardware.
Dynamic Stability System
Baltic Yachts can claim a world first with the Baltic 142 (currently under construction in Jakobstad), which will have a Dynamic Stability System (DSS) horizontal, moveable foil built into her carbon composite hull. It is the first time this performance and comfort-enhancing feature has been designed into a superyacht.
The 9m long carbon composite foil will be positioned across the bilge of the yacht just aft of the lifting keel and when in use, protrude through apertures near the waterline. Hydraulically powered gearing will deploy it to leeward while sailing to reduce heel angle, increase boat speed and, importantly, reduce pitching. Apart from improved performance, the increase in comfort levels through reduced heel and pitching motion is considerable.
Baltic Yachts is working with DSS developers Hugh Welbourn and Gordon Kay and with Farr Yacht Design who are responsible for the naval architecture of the Baltic 142 and for the engineering of the structure housing the DSS.
The system has already been used to great effect on smaller yachts and Baltic Yachts and the design team are confident that the technology will transfer successfully to bigger yachts, especially those built in performance enhancing carbon composites.
Hull topsides openings
The two hull topsides openings forming fold-out ‘balconies’ in the Baltic 175 Pink Gin VI required detailed engineering to enable the doors themselves to become part of the overall structure of the world’s largest carbon composite sloop.
Openings like these are quite common in motor yachts but in a sailing yacht where the loads created by the rig and keel have to be taken into account.
Baltic Yachts worked closely with composite engineers Gurit and naval architects judel/vrolijk & co to not only satisfy the DNV-GL classification organisation that the structure was acceptable, but also to make the doors themselves part of the load bearing structure.
Solutions were found and now, by transferring loads through their hinges and locking mechanisms, the moving doors themselves, when closed, become part of the overall or ‘global’ load requirements. Baltic and the design team had to factor in a forestay breaking load of 142 tons, mast compression figures of 300 tons at the bury of the 68m tall rig and also the immense loads associated with the 71-ton keel and its lifting mechanism.
The openings provide an extra dimensions to the accommodation and, of course, an outdoor platform with direct access to the water. Hull apertures on large yachts also make access for services, moving stores and equipment far easier.
Force Feedback Steering System
Baltic Yachts’ innovative and completely new electronic steering system does away with long mechanical linkages between the rudder and the wheel, takes the weight out of steering for the helmsman, but provides the nuances of feel and load which keep him in touch with the behaviour of the yacht.
Trials of the steering system are nearing completion in Switzerland where a company called Esoro, which specialises in prototype development using innovative engineering, have been bench testing the Force Feedback System. The first example will be installed aboard Pink Gin VI, the Baltic 175 Custom which will be the biggest carbon fibre sloop in the world when she is launched in 2017.
Although designed initially for superyachts, we are confident that the Force Feedback System can be scaled down for smaller yachts of around 70ft which will be able to benefit from the elimination of heavy and space hungry steering cables or rods. Another big benefit is that the system will be designed to interface with automatic steering controls.
Roland Kasslin, head of Baltic Yacht’s’ research and development department, said that one of the main goals was: “To ensure that the helmsman never felt out of control.”
This ability to personalise settings means that a helmsman can simply tap in their identity and the system will automatically switch to their characteristics. Condition settings will make adjustments for rough and smooth seas and also offer harbour use and manoeuvring options.
Apart from being able to manufacturer units for smaller yachts we believe also that the system can be retro-fitted relatively easily to existing yachts. Units will be made available through Baltic Yachts and retro-fitting completed by our Service and Refit team.
Retractable Propulsion System
In our on-going programme of innovation aimed at improving performance and efficiency aboard yachts, Baltic Yachts have developed a new version of their Retractable Propulsion System (RPS) in conjunction with propeller experts Hundested. The revolutionary new system combines the ability to retract the propeller for increased performance with rotation through 90 degrees enabling it to double as a stern thruster.
The first example of the new RPS will be used aboard the recently launched Baltic 130 Custom. Together with a controllable pitch propeller (CPP), the RPS provides the helmsman with a highly versatile tool for manoeuvring and eliminates the need for a separate space and power hungry stern thruster.
Increased boat speed and greatly improved manoeuvrability on the start line and at mark roundings, are huge performance benefits when the propulsion gear is fully retracted.
Other key advantages include reduced vibration and lower noise levels plus the ability to keep all moving parts dry and free of fouling. The RPS consists of a leg fitted with a forward facing puller propeller which retracts into the hull which is then rendered completely flush as hydraulically-powered doors close the aperture. Water in the aperture is then expelled pneumatically, keeping weight to a minimum.